How to Contest a Traffic Ticket


There are a wide range of actions that can constitute a traffic violation today.  These can include speeding, talking on the phone, running a red light, and tailgating. In most cases, these violations will result in a fine, however, in more serious cases drivers can face suspension of their license and even jail time.

Often, drivers find themselves at the receiving end of a traffic violation that they feel has been incorrectly levied or is simply unjust. Without the information to appropriately challenge a ticket, these drivers end up paying fines which could have been avoided had they been aware of the options and potential defenses available to them. In this article, we will outline some of the most common ways drivers can contest a traffic violation and successfully advocate for themselves. 


A traffic ticket may be contested on the grounds that the driver’s action was necessary to avoid imminent harm or danger occurring. For example, a driver who has been caught speeding may argue that they did so to prevent an accident or collision from taking place.

To successfully apply the defense of necessity a driver will also have to demonstrate that there was no other lawful alternative to their actions. For more information on defenses to speeding, it is advisable to contact an attorney experienced in these matters such as this Louisiana speeding ticket lawyer.

Improper Equipment 

Law enforcement officers often use equipment such as a speedometer, speed camera or radar gun to detect traffic violations. In some cases, drivers may successfully argue that the speed-capturing device used was inaccurate.

This could be due to a number of factors such as a malfunction of the device, interference from external sources or improper calibration or maintenance of the equipment, resulting in an incorrect reading.  If enough evidence can be gathered to substantiate these claims, a driver may be able to challenge the validity of a traffic ticket and its issuance.

Traffic Light Malfunction

A traffic ticket may be issued following a traffic light malfunction, causing confusion for drivers and a subsequent breach of traffic laws. In such an event, a driver may argue that the malfunction created uncertainty as to the correct course of action to take, leading to an inadvertent violation of the rules. 

As this was beyond the driver’s control and they simply reacted as any reasonable person would have given the same circumstances, they should be excused given the extenuating circumstances at the time.

Vehicle Fault

A driver may be able to challenge a traffic violation on the basis that it occurred due to a fault in their vehicle. For example, a mechanical failure may result in reduced braking ability leading to a collision with another vehicle or the improper installation of tires on a vehicle could cause it to unexpectedly swerve, posing a danger to other road users. By providing evidence of the vehicle’s proper maintenance and repair, a driver may be able to challenge a traffic violation that occurred beyond their foresight and control.

If you would like to contest a traffic violation, one or more of these defenses may apply to your case.

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